After a large increase Tuesday’s primary election voters cast their ballots in person – which are tabulated last – Kari Lake and every other Trump-endorsed candidate in Arizona all appear to have won their primary races. Approximately 97 percent of all precincts have submitted their results. According to ABC-15’s “Data Guru” Garrett Archer, there are 186,067 ballots outstanding, including 112,000 from Maricopa County and 41,968 from Pima County. Maricopa County’s results usually mirror the state’s results.
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward, who has been very concerned about the possibility of voter fraud, expressed her frustration that all the votes had not been counted yet. She tweeted Wednesday night at the Maricopa County Elections Department, which is run by County Recorder Stephen Richer, “We all know that @MaricopaVote is ridiculous. Get the results, you fools.”
Lake was ahead of Karrin Taylor Robson 46 percent to 44 percent at 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, when tabulation halted. Lake declared victory earlier in the day, with various election experts and media outlets agreeing, including Election Wizard, El American, Real America’s Voice News, pollster People’s Pundit, and Human Events Senior Editor Jack Prosobiec, calling the race for the political newcomer.
After seeing a batch of ballots from Pima County favor Lake, local reporter Jeremy Duda, who has covered Arizona elections for years, tweeted, “Lake’s lead hasn’t increased much, but the trajectory is undeniable. Everything is still moving in her direction.”
ABC-15 News‘ Archer agreed, tweeting “not a good trendline for @Karrin4Arizona.”
Maricopa County Elections Department tweeted at 7 p.m. Wednesday night that the ballots still left to count included “verified early ballots dropped off on Election Day, verified provisional ballots, & write-in candidates.” Local reporter Jim Small tweeted that many of the remaining ballots were early ballots dropped off at polling locations.
The Arizona GOP reported that turnout was the largest for primary election day voting in Arizona history. As the early ballots were counted first, the governor’s race showed Robson ahead of Lake by 10 points after the first release of ballot counts on election night at 8 p.m.
In all, the top two Republicans spent a little more than $23 million, and much of that way by Robson. Records show the billionaire outspent Lake four to one in the race, with a total person spend of about $15 million. Another $2.5 million was spent on Robson’s behalf by Americans for Prosperity. Lake’s campaign, by contrast, spent a little more than $3.8 million Lake, with outside groups supporting her in the amount of $1.3 million.
The victor of the Republican primary contest will face Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who denies there was election fraud in 2020, in the general election.
The other notable Trump-endorsed Republican primary winners in Arizona were Blake Masters for U.S. Senate, Eli Crane for U.S. Representative in CD-2, Abraham Hamadeh for Arizona Attorney General, former legislator Anthony Kern for Arizona Senate, and State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) for Arizona Secretary of State.
Finchem will face former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes in the general election. Fontes was in office during the 2020 presidential election, when he tried unsuccessfully to mail out unrequested ballots to voters.
There were also a few other Trump-endorsed winners who were expected to easily cruise to victory due to little opposition, including Representatives Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04), Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05), and Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08).
Other candidates who were expected to win, leading late last night, were able to maintain those leads. Former legislator David Farnsworth greatly increased his already huge lead over Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa), to 28 points. Bowers angered Republicans by frequently going along with Democrats, including defeating GOP election integrity bills.
Additional Republican primary election winners included Juan Ciscoman for U.S. representative in CD-6, who will face Democrat Kirsten Engel in the general election. State Treasurer Kimberly Yee successfully fought off a challenge from strong opponents.
Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, who was originally appointed to the position, beat a challenge by Gina Godbehere, 58 to 42 percent. Maricopa County Supervisor Thomas Galvin, who was also appointed to his position, defeated others in the race. Galvin has aligned himself with the other county supervisors who declare there was no election fraud in 2020.
Former state legislator and conservative favorite Steve Montenegro is back in the game, easily placing first in his run for the House again in Litchfield Park. A trio of newcomers in Tucson that ran as a slate also proved successful: Justine Wadsack for State Senate, and Rachel Jones and Cory McGarr for State House.
Some notable candidates who lost their Republican primary races include former Sheriff Joe Arpaio in his bid for mayor of Fountain Hills. Conservative newcomer Shiry Sapir lost the superintendent of public schools race, with 31 percent to former schools chief Tom Horne’s 42 percent. Kim Owens, a longtime outspoken supporter of the late Sen. John McCain, was defeated by two conservative newcomers, Kevin Thompson and Nick Myers. Radio talk show host Clair Van Steenwyk was unable to defeat State Rep. Frank Carroll (R-Sun City), sponsor of the “Maricopa County Transit Slush Fund Tax.” State Rep. Joel John (R-Buckeye), who frequently angers conservatives for voting with Democrats, was defeated for re-election by newcomer Michael Carbone.
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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kari Lake” by Kari Lake. Photo “Blake Masters” by Blake Masters. Background Photo “Voting Booths” by Tim Evanson. CC BY-SA 2.0.